Treatment for kidney failure and other renal diseases in dogs and cats can be supported by a range of alternative modalities, including ozone therapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and more.
Chronic and acute renal disease affects many veterinary patients. It is sometimes very hard to control a spiraling of values in a dog or cat, especially in cases of acute toxicity or infections like Leptospirosis. Not everyone has access to or can financially cover kidney dialysis even though it’s sometimes needed. Extreme kidney failure is a scary situation, but having additional alternative tools to support the animal can help make caring for the dog or cat more hopeful for the client. Treating acute injury to the kidneys can also be supported with these therapies. This article features some of the supportive modalities I use for pets with kidney disease.
MEDICAL OZONE AND ULTRAVIOLET BLOOD THERAPY (UVBI)
Given the inflammation and occasional infection associated with kidney disease, these therapies should be the first choice. They support the kidneys with their ability to treat bacterial, viral, Lyme, leptospirosis and other infections. Overuse of antibiotics can actually cause kidney damage, so these medications should be avoided, especially when there are other options. Bacterial infections can be resistant to antibiotics; these drugs also have no effect on viruses. However, medical ozone and UVBI have the ability to treat both these issues. Intravenous autohemotherapy with ozone, along with ozonated saline used sub-cutaneously over the kidneys, really helps. This approach will potentiate acupuncture, laser, ozonated saline and other therapies as it directly affects the location. The use of photobiomodulation with laser and UVBI as well as Rife frequencies can also help.
ACUPUNCTURE AND AQUAPUNCTURE
Standard acupuncture points that support animals in chronic kidney failure have been in use for centuries. They include Bladder BL 23, Kidney KI 3, Spleen SP 6, Stomach ST 36, Pericardium PC 6, Large Intestine LI 11, Governing Vessel GV 14, and Bau Hua. These points are easy to find; even conventional veterinarians not trained in acupuncture can learn how to treat them, and can also inject B12 into them by doing aquapuncture. It would even be helpful to have pet owners massage these points or use a laser pen light on them.
Chinese herbal companies offer specific herbal combinations that successfully support the kidneys. Some of these combinations work with the JING of the animal. Young animals with a low JING or weak kidneys need long-term support. Treating kidneys damaged by old age and injury is different from treating kidneys that have deficiencies from birth.
The following Western and Ayurvedic herbs also support animals with kidney issues. Companies offer different combinations of these herbs: uva ursi, stinging nettle, astragalus root extract, N-acetylcysteine, Rehmannia glutinosa extract, rhubarb extract, milk thistle, L-arginine, L-glutamine, asparagus root extract, Dong Quai extract, Szechuan lovage root extract, cordyceps extract, ginkgo biloba extract, green tea extract, hawthorn extract, melatonin, juniper berries, dandelion root, chicory root, Crateva nurvala, marshmallow root, and Punarnava.
The gentleness of homeopathy works to increase vital force and can prove to be a good option for some very weak individuals. Some remedies can be used acutely but having an in-depth analysis of the patient done by a qualified homeopath can be very helpful. Apis Mellifica, Arsenicum Album, Phosphorus, Aurum Muriaticum, and Cantharis can be useful.
Glandulars like desiccated kidney, or products that provide kidney support, are great additions to the nutritional routine. Cutting up a raw organic kidney from a cow, lamb or pig, freezing it and then giving a piece daily to the animal is another good option for supporting the kidney. Raw organic liver can also be helpful.
High quality Omega-3 fatty acids bring down inflammation. Dimethylglycine DMG and spirulina are also helpful.
It’s important to prevent further bladder inflammation that might proliferate into the kidneys, so keeping the animal on some bladder anti-inflammatory herbs that are also nutritional is a good idea. Cranberry, marshmallow root, and Echinacea can prevent bladder infections from ascending into the kidney. Adding D-mannose to the diet can help as well.
Probiotic products can help with acute kidney issues. The gut is considered to contain 80% of the immune system, so maintaining a healthy microbiome can bring tremendous positive changes to the animal. Appetite improves and their ability to produce more red blood cells seems to be enhanced. In our practice, Microbiome Restorative Therapy (MBRT) from young, vibrant screened donors with healthy kidney function has resulted in increased vitality while lowering certain kidney-related values. Our donors are six generations intact females over 30 years; an intact urogenital system may have important value for strengthening the urogenital area.
Administering both an oral support and rectal Fecal Microbiota Transplantation is a good strategy. The details of the procedures we do can be found at Mash.
Choosing a screened donor for MBRT is important. There are 500 species and 1,000 subspecies of bacteria that could be viable in an animal’s gut. We want a balance to allow for the most efficient absorption of herbal medicines and nutraceuticals. Using only a prebiotic, probiotic or postbiotic will provide very important bacterial species, but not the symbiotic and harmonious meshing of hundreds of species. Achieving a full microbiome seems a more complete way to reboot the gut.
BLOOD PRESSURE CONTROL
Diet and nutrition can be used to try keeping the animal’s blood pressure down. Adding natural diuretics such as parsley can help. Reducing sodium intake may also be needed. Encouraging more fluid intake is important for flushing the kidneys. Otherwise, the animal’s blood pressure should be managed by using a medication if and when needed. It can be inconsistent as blood pressure machines are not always repeatable. Certain medicines called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) can help control blood pressure.
Kidney failure and other renal diseases in dogs and cats don’t have to be a death sentence. Adding some or all of these alternative approaches to your toolbox can help give your patients a new lease on life.